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Utah County Attorney David Leavitt declines to charge officers in officer-involved shooting

By Genelle Pugmire - | Oct 22, 2021

Courtesy of the Provo Police Department

Officer John Oseguera, of the Provo Police Department, was shot twice in his lower extremities during a shootout with a suspect in Provo on Feb. 25. 

It has been exactly eight months since Provo police were called to a residence where gunshots had been heard and, eventually, an officer was injured in an officer-involved shooting.

On Friday, Utah County Attorney David Leavitt released a declination to file criminal charges against the officers based on the “factual summary” of the following incident:

The Provo Police Department received calls made to 911 on Feb. 23 regarding a male acting erratically in an apartment complex. They received other reports of the male possibly having a gun and/or hearing gunshots.

Keith Taylor, a 44-year-old Provo resident, had been named on the Provo Police Department’s Twitter account as the suspect involved in the shooting that injured Officer John Oseguera.

The incident occurred at the apartment complex at 80 S. 900 East. Residents at the complex were evacuated for safety.

Officers reportedly saw a shattered glass door and had reason to take him into custody. As officers went to arrest Taylor, he allegedly went back into his home, grabbed an assault rifle and began firing at the officers.

Oseguera was shot twice in his lower extremities as a shootout ensued. Taylor was also shot during the incident and was taken into custody.

Following the incident, both Oseguera and Taylor were transported to the hospital. Oseguera was in stable condition and was reportedly in good spirits following surgery, according to the Provo Police Department.

Taylor was released from the hospital and booked into the Utah County Jail on three counts of attempted aggravated murder against officers and felony discharge of a firearm.

Leavitt concluded that based on the available facts and additional information contained in the various police reports compiled through the investigation, the Utah County Attorney’s Office declines to file any criminal charges against the officers responding to this call.

“In describing the OICI (Officer-Involved Critical Incident) Investigation, The OICI Incident Commander Lt. Erik Knutzen and Utah County Sheriff OICI Investigations team provided the reports, statements, and evidence to our office,” said Sherrie Hall Everett, spokesperson. “Follow-up was completed by the Utah County Attorney’s Office Investigations Bureau regarding this incident.”

“We want to be thorough in these investigations with a multi-tiered approach and cross-checks. I believe it gives the public more confidence in the trust they place with law enforcement and our office to keep our communities safe,” Leavitt said. “Incidents can escalate and we want officers to be able to come home to their families. We look to learn from these situations so that we improve training, skills, and safety for all concerned.”

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